Armey: Individual Mandate Would Be a Healthcare Industry Boondoggle

Do we really want to send billions more to the health insurance industry?

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What we're being offered does the opposite. The Massachusetts experiment with the same scheme has left the state with the nation's most expensive insurance, with program spending up 70 percent in just three years and with a third of the uninsured remaining so. The cheapest insurance we can find in Massachusetts for an average family of four is $906 per month. In Iowa, it's $145. Different coverage, certainly, but at least in Iowa cheaper coverage choices exist.

Instead of forcing unnecessarily expensive insurance on us, why not simply let us purchase cheaper insurance across state lines? It costs the taxpayers nothing, immediately increases insurance competition, broadens choice, and, by making cheaper options available, would lower the number of uninsured.

Doesn't this sound more like what we've been promised?

Unfortunately, the rhetoric does not line up with the legislative reality. Rather than choice, we get force. Rather than lower costs through price transparency and patient power, we get taxpayer subsidies to pay for higher costs. Rather than examining how the 20 states without high-risk pools for pre-existing conditions could learn from the 30 with them, we get more federal bureaucracy. Rather than reforming problems like the tax bias that pushes employer-centered insurance that we can't take from job to job, we get a plan that reinforces that failing system with 46 million more customers.

And the "individual mandate" may be the furthest divergence from the rhetoric.

Exactly how does forcing us to buy only health insurance approved by the federal government reflect more choice—and how does this belong in a free society?

Read why catastrophic coverage should be mandatory, by William H. Frist, Tennessee Republican, heart surgeon and the former U.S. Senate majority leader.

What do you think? Should Health Insurance Be Required of Everyone?

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